For Immediate Release:
5 November 2019
Garima Jain ; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani ; [email protected]
Group Sends Urgent Appeal to Delhi Chief Minister to Implement a Ban on Horse-Drawn Tongas and Bullock Carts
New Delhi – Animals are in trouble – even more so than humans – as Delhi‘s air hits the “severe“ category on the Air Quality Index, causing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to send an urgent letter to Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister (CM) of Delhi, asking him to use his powers to implement a ban on tongas (two–wheeled horse-drawn carts ) as per the resolutions passed by Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2008 and 2010, and to take the necessary steps to ban the use of bullock carts in the city immediately. The group also urged the CM to endorse its Delhi Mechanisation Project and approve a special financial scheme to replace underweight and overworked bullocks, donkeys, ponies, and horses used for haulage of goods permanently with e-rickshaws and provide their poor owners with improved livelihood opportunities.
Because of PETA India‘s efforts on the mechanisation project, 22 bullock-cart owners and nine tonga owners have already seized this opportunity, and their bullocks and horses are now in sanctuaries where they receive veterinary care and no longer experience the hardship and hazards of pulling heavy carts through the polluted, noisy, congested streets of Old Delhi.
“Many working animals suffer greatly because of Delhi‘s air–pollution crisis,“ says PETA India CEO and Chief Veterinarian Dr Manilal Valliyate. “E-rickshaws are a wonderful, pollution-free way to prevent animals from being forced to haul heavy loads despite exhaustion, injuries, and malnutrition – and they enhance the owners‘ livelihood. Delhi‘s increasing pollution and street congestion necessitate a move towards a safer, animal cart–free future, and one day, we hope to see the streets 100% animal-free.“
Working animals such as bullocks, donkeys, horses, and camels are highly affected by air pollution, since they‘re on the road throughout the day inhaling polluted air emitted from the vehicles that surround them. In Delhi, there are approximately 250 bullocks labouring in 20 market yards and some 150 horses pulling carriages in seven areas. Desperate owners force animals to work even when the air is polluted, they’re sick, or they’ve been injured in traffic accidents. They use whips, painful nose ropes, and spiked bits to force them to haul overloaded carts. The families benefitting from the mechanisation project report that using an e-rickshaw has dramatically increased their earnings and enhanced their social and economic status. With the support of the Delhi government and e-rickshaw dealers, PETA India aims to expand the project throughout Delhi, and its goal is to make the city animal cart–free.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.
For more information about PETA India, please visit PETAIndia.com.